Monday, November 19, 2018

Back in Action: On-going; Discredited forensic pathologist Dr. Colin Manock: Author Andrew L. Urban explains why eminent Australian criminal justice reformer Dr. Bob Moles "believes a Royal Commission is needed into the State’s several failures in allowing the unqualified and discredited forensic pathologist ... to continue his work – unchecked for decades."..."At one stage in the proceedings, The Hon. F. PANGALLO asked Dr Moles: Does it shock you that it has been covered up for decades—the ineptitude and incompetence of that department under Dr Colin Manock—even to this day?...Dr MOLES: When I first heard of the issues that were being raised here in South Australia, I didn’t actually believe that that was possible. It is only because of the continued research that we have done—and we have established the evidence for ourselves—that I have been able to convince myself that this horror has actually occurred...Dr Manock did 10,000 autopsies after the state declared that he wasn’t competent to certify cause of death."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Most damningly, Dr MOLES told the Committee: Mr Keogh’s wrongful conviction was not as a result of some unforeseen event. It resulted from the continued employment of a person who is known by senior state officials and by the state itself to be not only incompetent but also dishonest. As we pointed out in our written submission, for a person to be imprisoned on the basis of evidence known to be false by those whose duty it was to uphold the law is an unspeakable outrage, as it says in the cases. To fabricate evidence, it says in the cases, with a view to charging a person with a serious criminal offence is itself a species of criminality at the extreme end of official corruption. It is clearly inappropriate to suggest that Mr Keogh (photo above) is not due some compensation for the terrible wrong which he has suffered. The offer of settlement by the state of a modest amount of compensation which would prevent the need for further inquiry into the history of this matter can clearly be seen, at least on one view, to be in the interest of the state. In the fullness of time, the amount awarded to him will be judged to have been extremely favourable to the state. However, we are of the opinion that there should be a royal commission into this matter, and we would respectfully request this committee to support that view. "

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COMMENTARY: "Why Dr Bob Moles is calling for a Royal Commission," by Andrew L. Urban, published by The Wrongful Convictions Report, on November 13, 2018. (Andrew L. Urban is the author of Murder by the Prosecution (Wilkinson Publishing), about wrongful convictions.)

SUB-HEADING:  "Giving explosive evidence before the Budget and  Finance Committee of the South Australian Legislative Council (November 5, 2018), Dr Bob Moles outlined why he believes a Royal Commission is needed into the State’s several failures in allowing the unqualified and discredited forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock to continue his work – unchecked for decades."

GIST: Dr Moles (left), a legal academic and author specialising in miscarriages of justice, was invited to give evidence (under Parliamentary privilege) to the Committee investigating the Government’s ex-gratia payment to Henry Keogh, who had spent 20 years in jail for the murder of his fiancĂ©e, Anna-Jane Cheney which the appeal court in 2014 found he did not commit. In the course of his evidence, Dr Moles traced the history of grave errors in Dr Manock’s work through the years, and the many instances when his failures were well known and acknowledged by various agents of the State.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Back in action: On-going: James Turpin: New Brunswick: Unique submission in case of man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2004 death of his girlfriend's toddler. The unique submission: The excessiv number of prosecution expert witnesses amounted to an 'overkill.'..."Chief Justice Marc Richard said Tuesday that many witnesses may have "overwhelmed" the jury, and there was a "danger" the jury relied too heavily on experts. He wasn't alone in thinking that. "This was overkill," said Justice Margaret Larlee. "Too much information." The Crown argued all the experts were qualified and necessary. The defence has also argued the exact cause of Corrigan's death was "basically undetermined" and a jury couldn't make a decision beyond a reasonable doubt. Richard also questioned whether there were reasonable grounds to conclude this was second-degree murder when no one could say exactly how Kennedy's brain injury occurred. "If you can't explain what exactly what happened, how can you decide it was intentional?" he said."



PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Turpin maintains the toddler was injured when she fell in the bathtub and hit her head. Three appeal court justices heard Turpin's case this summer, but a re-hearing was scheduled with two more jurists to revisit a 1979 New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision that loosened the limits on the expert witnesses permitted during in a trial. The number of expert witnesses Judge Judy Clendening allowed during the three-week trial in June 2016 is a central argument in the defence's case. Clendening allowed 12 expert witnesses to testify — more than double the usual five permitted — and the defence argued she didn't follow legal procedures to allow for more. 'This was overkill.'

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GIST: A man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2004 death of his girlfriend's toddler is appealing the conviction in front of an expanded slate of justices. James Paul Turpin, a Charlo man in his late 30s, was sentenced in 2016 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. A jury found him guilty in the death of two-year-old Kennedy Ann Corrigan, who suffered a fatal brain injury while in his care. Turpin maintains the toddler was injured when she fell in the bathtub and hit her head. Three appeal court justices heard Turpin's case this summer, but a re-hearing was scheduled with two more jurists to revisit a 1979 New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision that loosened the limits on the expert witnesses permitted during in a trial. The number of expert witnesses Judge Judy Clendening allowed during the three-week trial in June 2016 is a central argument in the defence's case. Clendening allowed 12 expert witnesses to testify — more than double the usual five permitted — and the defence argued she didn't follow legal procedures to allow for more. 'This was overkill'; Chief Justice Marc Richard said Tuesday that many witnesses may have "overwhelmed" the jury, and there was a "danger" the jury relied too heavily on experts. He wasn't alone in thinking that.
"This was overkill," said Justice Margaret Larlee. "Too much information." The Crown argued all the experts were qualified and necessary. The defence has also argued the exact cause of Corrigan's death was "basically undetermined" and a jury couldn't make a decision beyond a reasonable doubt. Richard also questioned whether there were reasonable grounds to conclude this was second-degree murder when no one could say exactly how Kennedy's brain injury occurred. "If you can't explain what exactly what happened, how can you decide it was intentional?" he said. Family fearsThe Court of Appeal can uphold the verdict, lower the offence to manslaughter, order a new trial for Turpin or acquit him. Turpin was taking care of Kennedy on April 2, 2004, at her Central Blissville home south of Fredericton, while her mother was at work. The girl suffered a massive brain injury and was rushed unconscious to the Dr. Everett Chalmers hospital in Fredericton. She died a week later at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax after being taken off life support without regaining consciousness.  No charges were laid at the time, but the RCMP's historical homicide unit reopened the case in 2013, and Turpin was charged in 2015. Ali Corrigan, a cousin of the toddler's mother, said it appears the justices have already made up their minds. "I feel that some of the judges already has an opinion before they heard the arguments. To me, they seemed one-sided." She said she would prefer to see another trial, if it gets to that point. "I would prefer that over a reduced sentence of manslaughter because, in my opinion, he either intentionally killed her with the amount of force of whatever he did to her that day," she said. "A reasonable person couldn't apply that much force to an infant without knowing they crossed the line. "It should be a new trial. If they feel there was an error made in law, OK, let's go back to trial. We'll have five doctors. They'll still have the opinion that it was a non-accidental death." Turpin, who was in court Tuesday, was granted a conditional release pending the outcome of his appeal."

The entire story can be read at:




https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/james-turpin-murder-conviction-appeal-kennedy-corrigan-1.4904099

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Back in a action: Catch-up: William Arnold: Tennessee; WTVF tells the extraordinary story of a man sentenced to 25 years for aggravated sexual battery and rape of a child in spite of his claims of innocence - who has received high powered support from a most unexpected source: Dr. Barbara Ziv, a key prosecution witness in both the Bill Cosby and Jerry Sandusky trials..."His mother made this assumption," Dr. Barbara Ziv said during her recent court appearance. "His mother ran with it. Everybody else ran with it. And nobody ever stopped to say, 'Put on the brakes,' and say, 'Is there another William?'" Dr. Ziv said she is now convinced it was the "other William" the child was referring to."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Dr. Ziv was not brought in as an expert witness by Arnold or his legal team and she's not been paid by them. She was actually hired last year by the Big Brothers organization to help them figure out how much they might have to pay in damages in the civil suit. But at the end of her review, she told them, even though William Arnold had already been convicted, she didn't believe he'd actually done it."

STORY: "NC5 Investigates: Expert casts doubt on mentor convicted of sexually abusing 10-year-old boy," by reporter Jennifer Kraus, published by  the NewsChannel 5 Network on October 25, 2018.

GIST: "Tennessee prisons are filled with people who insist they did nothing wrong. But a Nashville man is getting high-powered support in his fight to be released. William Arnold is serving a 25-year sentence for aggravated sexual battery and rape of a child. A Davidson County jury found him guilty in 2013 of sexually assaulting a 10-year old boy who he'd been mentoring through the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The Department of Correction would not let us interview Wiliam Arnold face to face, but we talked with him by phone. We found both he and a nationally recognized expert in child sex abuse believe his case deserves another look. "I still don't believe it's happened to me," Arnold told NewsChannel 5 Investigates during a recent phone call. "Did you ever sexually assault or inappropriately touch or do anything to this boy, this now young man?" we asked Arnold by phone. "Never. Never. Never have and never will," he told us. In a series of phone calls and letters from prison, Arnold told us he was "wrongly convicted" in a twisted case of "mistaken identity." And now, a renowned forensic psychiatrist says she believes him. Dr. Barbara Ziv was a key prosecution witness in both the Bill Cosby and Jerry Sandusky trials and recently shared her expert opinion during a court hearing on Arnold's case, telling the judge, "I don't think William Arnold sexually assaulted him," Ziv told us. "I can say William Arnold's behavior in no way, shape or form conforms to the pattern of behavior of a child molester or a pedophile." But the mother of Arnold's victim says he did it. She spoke to us back in 2011 after she'd filed a $3.5 million dollar lawsuit against William Arnold and Big Brother Big Sisters for allowing, according to the lawsuit, him to "sexually abuse, assault and molest" her son. "I know it happened more than maybe ten times," she told us. "My child will never be the same." She also told in 2011 that Arnold came highly recommended as a mentor as he had worked for the Tennessee Board of Regents for many years, had multiple graduate degrees and served on many community and non-profit boards. But in a sworn deposition, she said that her then 10-year-old began acting out sexually. She asked him if anyone had done anything sexual to him, if William had touched him, and he finally nodded yes. But there was another William in the young boy's life at the time, a 17-year-old who was the younger brother of the mother's live-in boyfriend. The two were involved in a four to five-month-long sexual relationship. "The details of that relationship are the exact same details that he described in what supposedly happened with me," Arnold suggested during a phone call with NewsChannel 5 Investigates. "His mother made this assumption," Dr. Barbara Ziv said during her recent court appearance. "His mother ran with it. Everybody else ran with it. And nobody ever stopped to say, 'Put on the brakes,' and say, 'Is there another William?'" Dr. Ziv said she is now convinced it was the "other William" the child was referring to. In her 157 page report on the case, she described how the victim "was battling his own sexuality" while his mother refused to accept it.  "A thorough review of all available records makes it clear, she wrote, that the victim's descriptions of abuse by William Arnold have been "inconsistent, inaccurate and selective," as well as "contradictory" and "misleading." And during her recent testimony in court, Dr. Ziv described interviewing the boy last year when he was 19 and discussing William Arnold when he suddenly stopped. Dr. Ziv described the conversation saying the boy said, "I wish this hadn't happened. And I feel guilty.' 'And I said why?' And he paused and he looked at me and he asked to go out and call his lawyer and when we came back in, he said, 'My lawyer told me I don't have to talk to you about it.'" Dr. Ziv said the change in his demeanor was so dramatic that it suddenly became very obvious to her. "I said, 'You know what? William Arnold didn't do this,'" Ziv told the court. The jury in Arnold's criminal case did hear about the other William, but Arnold said they were led to believe it couldn't have been him, that the other William was never called to testify, and at the time, the boy insisted he had not even met the other William until long after Arnold had assaulted him. But in a videotaped interview with a police detective and DCS investigator, the other William not only admitted to having a sexual relationship with the child, but he confirmed that he'd ended it right about the time the victim's mother confronted her son. Arnold told NewsChannel 5 Investigates Dr. Ziv's new findings in his case give him hope. "It felt like someone lifted a weight off my chest. That someone else sees the truth," he remarked. Truth, he said, after what he calls a "horrible miscarriage of justice". "I'm not perfect. But I'm damn sure not a monster," Arnold added. Dr. Ziv was not brought in as an expert witness by Arnold or his legal team and she's not been paid by them. She was actually hired last year by the Big Brothers organization to help them figure out how much they might have to pay in damages in the civil suit. But at the end of her review, she told them, even though William Arnold had already been convicted, she didn't believe he'd actually done it. The assistant DA who prosecuted the case though told NewsChannel 5 Investigates there's no question in her mind about the case or which William did it."

The entire story can be read at:
 https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/nc5-investigates-expert-casts-doubt-on-mentor-convicted-of-sexually-abusing-10-year-old-boy

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Back in action: On-going; Jeffrey Havard: Mississippi: Shaken Baby Syndrome; Death Row; Clarion Ledger (reporter Jerry Mitchell)..."Why would inmate risk execution? He says he would rather prove innocence and 'die fighting.'..."In December 2002, Havard went on trial for capital murder. A parade of witnesses — doctors, nurses, the sheriff and others — described an anal dilation the size of a quarter, along with tears, rips, lacerations and bleeding they said they saw in the child’s anal area. Then-state pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne told jurors that Havard had shaken the baby to death, comparing the injuries to those seen in car crashes and falls from significant heights. No defense experts testified because Judge Johnson wouldn’t permit their hiring. He told defense lawyers they could question Hayne about the death. They didn’t bother. Jurors never heard from Havard, either, because his court-appointed lawyers advised him not to testify. After 40 minutes of deliberation, jurors convicted Havard, who professed his innocence when he was sentenced, and recommended the death penalty. Circuit Judge Forrest Johnson told him, “Just when you think that you have seen everything and that you have seen or heard of the absolute low point of evil and human depravity, someone like you comes along and shows us a new low in human behavior." Havard received a sentence of death by lethal injection."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: " His resentencing is set for Nov. 19, where he is expected to receive a life without parole sentence. (District Attorney Ronnie Harper told the judge that his office won't seek the death penalty.) Havard's appeal of the judge's order, however, opens the door for him to possibly receive the death penalty. For 16 years now, he said he has felt like he was underwater. Since 2012, he feels he has been rising up in that water, more and more evidence reflecting his innocence, he said. “Now I’m within an inch or two of the surface.” But instead of breaking through, the judge’s order has blocked his way, he said. He vows to keep fighting. “If it takes a week, if it takes 10 months, if it takes 10 years, the truth is the truth,” he said. “I want the truth to come out.”"

STORY: "Why would inmate risk execution? He says he would rather prove innocence and 'die fighting," by reporter Jerry Mitchell, published by The ClarionLedger on November 8, 2018.



SUB-HEADING: "Jeffrey Havard was on Mississippi's death row for nearly 16 years. So why would he appeal, when it could send him back to death row?

GIST: "Jeffrey Havard became angry when he was removed from Mississippi’s death row in September, nearly 16 years after he entered. His initial reaction to the court tossing out his death sentence was “worse than doing nothing at all,” Havard said in an interview inside the Adams County Jail. “I would rather die, taking my chances on death row and go down being executed, fighting for my innocence, than to just be thrown into prison, life without parole, and waste away.” His lawyers plan to appeal the judge’s decision to the state Supreme Court, opening the door for justices to reimpose the death penalty. So why would anyone risk that? “All I want to do is to be able to tell the jury my story,” Havard said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to do that.” She noticed that Chloe wasn't breathing: It was the night of Feb. 21, 2002, and 6-month-old Chloe Madison Britt was crying. Her mother, Rebecca, was gone, buying something from the store. Havard said he thought Chloe had soiled her diaper, discovering instead she had spit up. He decided to give her a bath, and after she was done, he pulled her out. As he reached for a towel, she was wiggling and fell from his grasp, hitting the toilet, he said. He returned her to his arms, gave her a little shake and spoke to her, he said. “Chloe, are you OK?” She started crying, he said. “I held her in my arms and made sure she was OK. I dried her off, and she quit crying. I thought she was OK.” Chloe Madison Britt, 6 months old, died on Feb. 21, 2002. (Photo: Clarion Ledger) When Rebecca returned minutes later, she checked on Chloe, he said. “That eased my mind, and I didn’t say anything.” He said he gave Rebecca money to rent a movie for them to watch. When she returned, she noticed that Chloe wasn’t breathing and began to scream, starting CPR on her daughter. Havard, who was in the bathroom, said Rebecca yelled out for him to go to his grandparents down the road. He said he replied, “No, let’s get in the car and go to the hospital.” At Natchez Community Hospital’s emergency room, medical personnel scrambled to revive Chloe, who wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. At 10:04 p.m., they got their first ray of hope. Chloe’s blue skin began to turn pink. They could see bruises on her forehead and the front of her thighs. A nurse removed her diaper to take her temperature and said, "Look at this." They noticed the baby's rectum was dilated and called police. Not long after, they lost her pulse. Her face swelled; so did her brain. By 10:50 p.m., doctors declared her dead. 'You're going to be executed for this'; By the time that declaration took place, Havard was already in the back of a squad car. At about 3 a.m., deputies led him from the jail to the interrogation room. It was here, for the first time, that he learned Chloe was dead. “And before I can even react, (the deputy) said, ‘And she’s been raped,’” he recalled. The news stunned Havard. “Son,” he said the deputy told him, “she’s been ripped from end to end. You tell us right f---ing now what you did to her, and maybe that will keep the needle out of your arm up there in Parchman. You’re going to be executed for this.” The words shocked Havard. “That scared the hell out of me,” he recalled. “I was scared to say I dropped her at that point.” The next day, a hospital conducted a DNA test on him, hoping to link him to the sexual assault. When he returned to the jail, authorities handed him with papers that explained his arrest. He said his head spun as he read the words, accusing him of sexual battery and shaking Chloe to death. Authorities continue to say Jeffrey Havard is guilty of a heinous homicide, but he maintains he accidentally dropped 6-month-old Chloe Madison Britt.  When he saw the words “subdural hemorrhage,” he said he realized that accidentally dropping her on the head may have caused her death. He shared his story with deputies, who pressed him repeatedly on the allegations of rape. He said he wanted to be helpful and tried to think of what might explain this, but they continued to believe he had sexually assaulted Chloe. “It was the perfect storm,” he recalled. “It still is.”'Absolute low point of evil and human depravity': In December 2002, Havard went on trial for capital murder. A parade of witnesses — doctors, nurses, the sheriff and others — described an anal dilation the size of a quarter, along with tears, rips, lacerations and bleeding they said they saw in the child’s anal area. Then-state pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne told jurors that Havard had shaken the baby to death, comparing the injuries to those seen in car crashes and falls from significant heights. No defense experts testified because Judge Johnson wouldn’t permit their hiring. He told defense lawyers they could question Hayne about the death. They didn’t bother. Jurors never heard from Havard, either, because his court-appointed lawyers advised him not to testify. After 40 minutes of deliberation, jurors convicted Havard, who professed his innocence when he was sentenced, and recommended the death penalty. Circuit Judge Forrest Johnson told him, “Just when you think that you have seen everything and that you have seen or heard of the absolute low point of evil and human depravity, someone like you comes along and shows us a new low in human behavior." Havard received a sentence of death by lethal injection. "Scientists discredit shaken baby syndrome: In the years that followed the trial, scientists have discredited shaken baby syndrome. In 2001, Minnesota pathologist Dr. John Plunkett conducted a groundbreaking study, examining Consumer Product Safety Commission reports involving falls from playground equipment. He concluded short-distance falls are capable of producing the triad of symptoms previously identified as shaken baby syndrome. "It's clear that low velocity, even a 2- or 3-foot fall can cause serious and fatal brain injury," he told The Clarion-Ledger. "If people had paid attention to the science, it would not have been a mystery." The Clarion Ledger questioned Hayne about the changing science. He backed off his shaken baby conclusion, acknowledging the injuries could have come from a short fall. He cited a 1979 study measuring the falls of children. "You can generate tremendous G forces in a short distance when you hit a very hard surface," he said. Sexual assault was the underlying felony charge against Havard that enabled authorities to pursue the death penalty against him. Authorities believed sexual assault because of the anal dilation, but a 1996 study found anal dilation was common among children who died, especially those who suffered brain damage. Hayne told the Clarion Ledger that he informed prosecutors he didn’t see any evidence of sexual assault. A rape kit found no semen or foreign DNA, and he examined those sections under a microscope. His conclusion? There were no tears, rips or similar injuries to the child’s rectum, he said. “I would think that would be a definitive evaluation.” In 2015, the state Supreme Court ordered a new hearing for Havard, citing the shifting science on shaken baby syndrome, but justices wouldn’t allow the judge to consider evidence that no sexual assault took place. Havard vows to keep fighting: 'The truth is the truth'" At that August 2017 hearing, Hayne and four other experts concluded that Chloe did not die of shaken baby syndrome.
Hayne and another prosecution expert still believed her death was a homicide. Renowned pathologist Dr. Michael Baden of New York City disputed that conclusion, saying the baby’s injuries were consistent with the fall Havard described. “With short falls,” he said, “you can have fatal injuries.” After three days of testimony and hundreds of pages of briefs, Judge Johnson wrote an order that took up less than five pages. Despite the new evidence on shaken baby syndrome, Johnson concluded that Havard was just as guilty, citing the testimony of Hayne and Dr. Scott Benton, chief of the division of forensic medicine at the University of Mississippi’s Medical Center. But the judge tossed out the death sentence, concluding that while the evidence was “not sufficient to undermine this Court’s confidence in the conviction, there is a cautious disturbance in confidence of the sentence of death, even if slight.” That conclusion baffled Havard. “If I’m just as guilty as I was before, what disturbs my death sentence?” he asked. And if there is indeed doubt, he asked, wouldn’t that affect his conviction? His resentencing is set for Nov. 19, where he is expected to receive a life without parole sentence. (District Attorney Ronnie Harper told the judge that his office won't seek the death penalty.) Havard's appeal of the judge's order, however, opens the door for him to possibly receive the death penalty. For 16 years now, he said he has felt like he was underwater. Since 2012, he feels he has been rising up in that water, more and more evidence reflecting his innocence, he said. “Now I’m within an inch or two of the surface.” But instead of breaking through, the judge’s order has blocked his way, he said. He vows to keep fighting. “If it takes a week, if it takes 10 months, if it takes 10 years, the truth is the truth,” he said. “I want the truth to come out.”"

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;  

The entire story  can be found at:
https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/11/08/mississippi-inmate-jeffrey-havard-risks-death-sentence-appealing/1857877002/

Thursday, November 15, 2018

David Eastman; Australia; ABC News reports that his retrial has reached the final stretch as the jury retires to deliberate. (Reporter Elizabeth Byrne)..."It is the second time Mr Eastman has been tried over the killing, after a 2014 inquiry found there had been a miscarriage of justice because of problems with the original evidence."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Police have never found the murder weapon, but have identified it as a Ruger .22 rifle bought from a Queanbeyan gun dealer shortly before the murder.The dealer did not identify Mr Eastman as the buyer, but there were suggestions from other witnesses that Mr Eastman had been seen at the dealer's house. There was also evidence from witnesses about a blue car similar to Mr Eastman's in a street near the Winchester family home in the days before the murder. But Mr Eastman's lawyer George Georgiou rejected the theories about the motive, and questioned the evidence from those who sought to link Mr Eastman to the crime. He took particular aim at the tapes which he said were of such bad quality as to be not appropriate evidence in a murder trial. Mr Georgiou pressed the alternative theory it was a mafia hit, related to Mr Winchester's involvement investigating drug crops outside Canberra."

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KEY POINTS:

  • Prosecutors say "too many coincidences" for Mr Eastman to be innocent
  • Defence points to possible mafia involvement
  • Mammoth trial has run for almost six months.
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STORY: "David Eastman trial reaches final stretch as jury retires to deliberate," by reporter Elizabeth Byrne, published by ABC  News on November 13, 2018.

GIST: "A trial lasting almost six months. Legal documents piling up to 36,000 pages. More than 100 witnesses. Dozens of statements. Those figures form the backbone of a mammoth decision for 12 men and women as to whether David Eastman, a former Canberra public servant, shot senior Australian Federal Police officer Colin Winchester as he got out of his car in 1989. It is the second time Mr Eastman has been tried over the killing, after a 2014 inquiry found there had been a miscarriage of justice because of problems with the original evidence. Prosecutor Murugan Thangaraj delivered a circumstantial case to the ACT Supreme Court, telling jurors there were "too many coincidences" for anyone else to have been the killer. He said Mr Eastman had a motive, after Mr Winchester refused to help him out of assault charges. Mr Thangaraj said Mr Eastman was concerned the charges would harm his years-long bid to return to the public service. Prosecutors also said Mr Eastman had made threats, including telling one person the police should be taught a lesson. Tapes of Mr Eastman talking to himself in his home, which Mr Thangaraj said included admissions, were also played to the jury. And there was also evidence Mr Eastman had been searching for a gun through the Canberra Times classifieds. Police have never found the murder weapon, but have identified it as a Ruger .22 rifle bought from a Queanbeyan gun dealer shortly before the murder.
The dealer did not identify Mr Eastman as the buyer, but there were suggestions from other witnesses that Mr Eastman had been seen at the dealer's house. There was also evidence from witnesses about a blue car similar to Mr Eastman's in a street near the Winchester family home in the days before the murder. But Mr Eastman's lawyer George Georgiou rejected the theories about the motive, and questioned the evidence from those who sought to link Mr Eastman to the crime. He took particular aim at the tapes which he said were of such bad quality as to be not appropriate evidence in a murder trial. Mr Georgiou pressed the alternative theory it was a mafia hit, related to Mr Winchester's involvement investigating drug crops outside Canberra. Police said they had found no connection between the killing and Italian crime groups, and the prosecution said it would be unlikely a professional hit man would buy a gun from a dealer in Queanbeyan. The jury must now decide whether there is enough evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, Mr Eastman was the one who pulled the trigger. But for two of the 14 jurors who have sat through the entire trial there was bad news today. Their numbers were pulled out from a barrel, and they learned their role in the trial had ended, leaving only 12 to deliberate:"

 The entire story can be read at:
 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-14/david-eastman-trial-canberra-jury-retires/10494180

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Back in action: Catch-up; Tommy Zeigler; Florida; WFLA reporter Keith Cote tells the story of a Florida man on death row for 42 years fighting for his life and the private investigator who says Zeigler didn't kill anyone..."He believes if jurors heard from all of the witnesses, or knew about the DNA results that would come years later, and not been intimidated into voting guilty, he would not be where he is today."



PASSAGE OF THE DAY; "Why is the state of Florida so reluctant to allow Zeigler’s case back in court?  Is there a chance he could be the next Florida death row inmate to be exonerated?"

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STORY: "Florida man on death row for 42 years fighting for his life," by reporter Keith Cate, published by WFLA.com on October 29, 2018.

GIST: "It was a gruesome crime. Five people were gunned down in a furniture store in Winter Garden, Florida. Only one made it out alive and that lone survivor is still dodging death 42-years later.  “I didn’t do it,” Tommy Zeigler said. “They got a conviction and here I am stuck. A judge overruled a jury and sent Tommy Zeigler to death row in 1976. Private investigator Lynn Marie Carty has spent years digging up evidence that she believes proves Tommy didn’t kill anyone.  She showed us file folders packed with information about witnesses ignored or prevented from appearing at his trial. “This was all hidden from the judge and the jury,” Carty said. “They didn’t have all the information.  The guy didn’t do anything and we kept him there.” Zeigler swears he is innocent.  What he wants is a new trial to clear his name. “They can use every bit of that testimony,” Ziegler said. “They can bring it all back into that courtroom and present it to a jury and let me present what we have now.” Why is the state of Florida so reluctant to allow Zeigler’s case back in court?  Is there a chance he could be the next Florida death row inmate to be exonerated?"


The entire story can be read at:
https://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/tommy-zeigler-says-he-s-been-stuck-on-death-row-for-42-years/1552277043

Read the Wikipedia account: "Controversy": " The case against Zeigler, and his trial, has been the subject of criticism by many, including civil rights activist Bianca Jagger, and a juror who opted to convict Zeigler.[6][4] Among the criticized points, was the judge who oversaw the trial, Maurice M. Paul; months prior to the murders, both Zeigler and Paul testified in an unrelated case on opposing sides.[2] Although the jury at Zeigler's trial recommended life imprisonment, Paul instead sentenced Zeigler to death.[4] At Zeigler's trial, one of the key eyewitnesses for the prosecution, Felton Thomas, testified that on the night of the murders, he, Zeigler, and Charlie Mays drove to an orange grove to fire some guns. The prosecution believed that this was a plan from Zeigler to get their fingerprints on the guns. In 2013, however, Thomas recanted parts of his testimony.[7] In 2011, Zeigler's private investigator, Lynn-Marie Carty, located a new eyewitness named Robert Foster, who, on the night of the murders, attempted to rob a gas station across the street from Zeigler Furniture Store. Don Frye, the lead investigator on the case, had lied about Foster, saying his name was a typographical error.[8] Aftermath: Zeigler was scheduled to be executed on October 22, 1982. However, the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville stayed the execution due to new evidence. Zeigler was then scheduled to be executed on May 20, 1986. The execution was stayed, by the 11th Circuit Court, due to inadequate representation.[9] In April 1988, Zeigler's death sentence was overturned.[10] Zeigler was re-sentenced and again given the death penalty.[2] In 2005, Zeigler's request for a new trial was denied after DNA tests failed to conclude that Charlie Mays was the perpetrator.[4] Zeigler's case was denied bloodstain DNA analysis in 2013 and 2016.[11][12] In April 2017, Zeigler's case was denied Touch DNA analysis.[13] In popular culture: Zeigler's case was featured on television program, Unsolved Mysteries.[14] A documentary entitled "A Question of Innocence" was released in 2014 about Zeigler's case, and the death penalty in the United States.[15] In 1992, a book was released by Phillip Finch on Zeigler's case, entitled Fatal Flaw: A True Story of Malice and Murder in a Small Southern Town."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Zeigler_case


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Back in action. Catch-up; Family of Barry and Honey Sherman: What happens when a brereaved family loses confidence in the police and the pathologists? As this fascinating story by Toronto Star Chief Investigative Reporter Kevin Donovan shows, they hire their own investigators and pathologists, offer a $10-million reward, and offer to share the information they unearth with the police..."As previously reported by the Star, the police did not rule the case a double murder until after a Star story revealed that the Sherman family’s pathologist had made that determination. The family’s pathologist determined it was a double murder after taking note that the Sherman’s wrists had been bound, but no ropes or other ties were found near the bodies. The information from the second pathologist would not be considered by police for almost five weeks, until a story in the Star revealed those details...(Kudos to The Star for its excellent reporting on this complex case. HL);


PASSAGE OF THE DAY (1): "In what Greenspan said was an early attempt to cooperate with police, he said he and his private team passed on information they discovered when they examined the Sherman home, following the police team’s own six-week examination. Among that information, Greenspan said, were a series of “25 palm or fingerprint impressions” private detectives found on surfaces of the house. Greenspan said the police missed those during their examination. The meeting to pass on the palm print evidence was May 17 and according to Greenspan the police were receptive to the delivery of them. But the force has since retained a lawyer to figure out a way to handle future deliveries of information and there has been no further communication from the police on that issue, Greenspan said. As to what, if anything, came from police analysis of the palm prints, Greenspan says he does not know. Greenspan was highly critical of the work of the Toronto police. He said when his private team was granted access to the Sherman crime scene, his team discovered that the locks had not been checked for tampering and the carpets in the home had not been vacuumed by forensic experts. Typically, vacuuming is done to find fibres and other evidence that would escape the naked eye. Greenspan said he does not believe police have yet completed an analysis of fingerprints found at the scene. People who were known to have been in the Sherman home, for innocent reasons, have yet to be fingerprinted, he said. Greenspan also took issue with how, in the early stages of the case, Toronto officers made comments that left the “wrong impression that this was a self-inflicted crime, either a suicide or a murder-suicide.”

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PASSAGE OF THE DAY (2):  "Greenspan has set up a panel of experts to review the tips, and said he has invited Chief Saunders to provide an officer to join that review panel — an unusual partnership between police and private investigators. Greenspan said he knows of no other instance in Canada where there has been a similar partnership. He said his notion is that by providing Sherman-paid resources it will “free the public purse from the burden of the investigation” at a time when due to other cases the Toronto homicide squad is “overtaxed” Asked if he would accept Greenspan’s invitation, Chief Saunders said he wants to see the terms of reference, and added police are open to being involved if the process would withstand the scrutiny of the court of law. “If it meets the test than definitely we’ll be involved,” he said. As previously reported by the Star, the police did not rule the case a double murder until after a Star story revealed that the Sherman family’s pathologist had made that determination. The family’s pathologist determined it was a double murder after taking note that the Sherman’s wrists had been bound, but no ropes or other ties were found near the bodies. The information from the second pathologist would not be considered by police for almost five weeks, until a story in the Star revealed those details."

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STORY: "Family of Barry and Honey Sherman offers $10-million reward for information on murder of billionaire couple," by Chief Investigative Reporter Kevin Donovan, published by The Toronto Star on October 26, 2018.

PHOTO CAPTION (1):   "Billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman were found dead in their home on Dec. 15, 2017."

PHOTO CAPTION (2): "A police officer removes caution tape from the Sherman home after six weeks of searching the property in a Jan. 26 file photo."


GIST: "The private investigation team assembled by the four children of Barry and Honey Sherman announced a $10-million reward and something unprecedented in Canadian history: a “public-private partnership” in which the Sherman family’s detectives will obtain tips and information and pass them on to the Toronto Police homicide squad. Catch the killer based on one of those tips and the tipster receives “up to $10 million,” Sherman family lawyer Brian Greenspan told media Friday. “We want to light a fire under the Toronto Police,” Greenspan said. The announcement was made just around the corner from where the Sherman children’s murdered father started his multi-billion dollar generic drug enterprise. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said later he welcomed the offering of the reward, but did not wholeheartedly endorse the Sherman family’s plan. Saunders said he has concerns with how the integrity of any evidence or information obtained by investigators not with the police would be handled. In launching what he called a new “initiative” in the case, Greenspan is taking direction from Sherman children Jonathon, Alex, Lauren and Kaelen. They are the heirs to a fortune of about $5 billion. The bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman were discovered in their basement pool room the morning of Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 by the Sherman’s real estate agent, who was leading another agent and two clients on a tour of the house on Old Colony Rd. The Shermans had put the house up for sale two weeks earlier, at an asking price of $6.7 million. Barry Sherman founded the Apotex generic drug firm in 1974 in a small building in northwest Toronto near factories. It’s the site of a growing complex of Apotex offices. The Greenspan press conference was held in one of those buildings. Long time Apotex employees, who say they they have been devastated by the loss of their founder, refer to the intersection the buildings radiate from as “the corner of Barry and Sherman.” Last December, when the Shermans’ agent came upon the bodies in the pool room, she froze, then turned and hurried the clients and the other agent back upstairs. The Shermans’ agent asked a woman who was in the house watering orchids to go downstairs and confirm what she had seen. She did. The agent then alerted a family member who was in Florida, and, after some discussion, police were called to the scene. Greenspan said the police, when they arrived, completely misinterpreted the crime scene. “They failed to recognize the suspicious and staged manner in which their bodies were situated.” He described how Barry Sherman’s “legs were outstretched with one crossed over the other in a passive manner, wearing his undisturbed eyeglasses and his jacket pulled slightly behind his back which would have prevented use of his arms.” The Sherman couple had their backs against a low railing that surrounds the pool, with leather belts around their neck and the free end wrapped around “a railing forcing them into an upright position,” Greenspan said. In what Greenspan said was an early attempt to cooperate with police, he said he and his private team passed on information they discovered when they examined the Sherman home, following the police team’s own six-week examination. Among that information, Greenspan said, were a series of “25 palm or fingerprint impressions” private detectives found on surfaces of the house. Greenspan said the police missed those during their examination. The meeting to pass on the palm print evidence was May 17 and according to Greenspan the police were receptive to the delivery of them. But the force has since retained a lawyer to figure out a way to handle future deliveries of information and there has been no further communication from the police on that issue, Greenspan said. As to what, if anything, came from police analysis of the palm prints, Greenspan says he does not know. Greenspan was highly critical of the work of the Toronto police. He said when his private team was granted access to the Sherman crime scene, his team discovered that the locks had not been checked for tampering and the carpets in the home had not been vacuumed by forensic experts. Typically, vacuuming is done to find fibres and other evidence that would escape the naked eye. Greenspan said he does not believe police have yet completed an analysis of fingerprints found at the scene. People who were known to have been in the Sherman home, for innocent reasons, have yet to be fingerprinted, he said. Greenspan also took issue with how, in the early stages of the case, Toronto officers made comments that left the “wrong impression that this was a self-inflicted crime, either a suicide or a murder-suicide.” He said the conduct of the police in the early days of the probe “fell well below the standard of how a reasonable officer in similar circumstances should have acted.” Toronto Police Chief Saunders responded to these criticisms, saying that police never reached a “premature conclusion” that it was a case of murder suicide. The reason police initially said that “there was no sign of forced entry” was because the north Toronto neighbourhood where the Shermans lived had seen a spate of break-ins and the officer was trying to reassure the public. “That community was incredibly alarmed,” Saunders told the media. On Greenspan’s criticism of the police probe, Chief Saunders said “we conclude that the investigation was done well. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” the chief told reporters gathered at police headquarters. “But we don’t deal in opinions; we deal in facts.” The Toronto Police Services board issued a statement late Friday saying Saunders has their complete confidence in regards to the Sherman murder probe. Saunders said he supports the Sherman family decision to offer a reward. “Hopefully, there are people out there that have an understanding of information that can help with this investigation …. Anything that helps lead to a successful conclusion, I think, is a good thing.” Departing from protocol around rewards offered by police or CrimeStoppers, lawyer Greenspan did not provide a police number to the public. He provided two dedicated numbers set up by the Sherman family. The tip line was up and running at 2 p.m. Friday. Greenspan has set up a panel of experts to review the tips, and said he has invited Chief Saunders to provide an officer to join that review panel — an unusual partnership between police and private investigators. Greenspan said he knows of no other instance in Canada where there has been a similar partnership. He said his notion is that by providing Sherman-paid resources it will “free the public purse from the burden of the investigation” at a time when due to other cases the Toronto homicide squad is “overtaxed” Asked if he would accept Greenspan’s invitation, Chief Saunders said he wants to see the terms of reference, and added police are open to being involved if the process would withstand the scrutiny of the court of law. “If it meets the test than definitely we’ll be involved,” he said. As previously reported by the Star, the police did not rule the case a double murder until after a Star story revealed that the Sherman family’s pathologist had made that determination. The family’s pathologist determined it was a double murder after taking note that the Sherman’s wrists had been bound, but no ropes or other ties were found near the bodies. The information from the second pathologist would not be considered by police for almost five weeks, until a story in the Star revealed those details. The Shermans were last spotted leaving Apotex headquarters two days earlier on Wednesday, Dec. 13 — Honey at about 6:30 p.m. and Barry at about 8:30 p.m. They had a late-afternoon meeting with architects for a new home in Forest Hill. Police theorize they both died that evening. Police have conflicting thoughts on whether a reward helps in a criminal case, and what the right time is to offer a reward. Some officers, whom the Star spoke to on background because they were not authorized to speak for the force, said there is always a concern a reward will “bring the crazies out of the woodwork.” Assessing the veracity of tips from people who may not have real information takes valuable police resources, they said. Other officers and groups are in favour of rewards. The CrimeStoppers program invites people to submit information anonymously and offers modest rewards of up to $2,000 if a tip leads to an arrest. A 2011 Star story revealed that often the rewards for providing legitimate information to CrimeStoppers go unclaimed. One of the few examples in Toronto of a reward being paid out in a murder case was the 1986 murder of 11-year-old Alison Parrott. Several people gave tips to police at the time of the killing, but the killer was not arrested until a decade later. A $50,000 reward was paid out in that case. The Toronto Star’s continuing investigation has revealed shortcomings with the way the police investigation has progressed. The Star has learned that police were slow to take DNA samples and fingerprints from the many people who passed through the Sherman home in the hours before the Shermans died. Police typically do this to eliminate suspects and focus on DNA and fingerprints that are foreign to a place where a crime was committed. In one case, a friend who was at the Sherman home with the Shermans that Wednesday was not asked for fingerprints and DNA until September, nine months after the murders. The Star has also interviewed numerous people regarding their own interviews with police. These people have said that detectives told them they were perplexed at who did the crime. In one case, a woman interviewed by police in the last two months said an investigator said, “we are at loose ends.”"

The entire story can be read at:
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/10/26/family-of-barry-and-honey-sherman-offers-10-million-reward-for-information-on-billionaire-couples-murder.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;